The Canuck Way Mailbag: Lineup changes, Roussel, Virtanen, more

EDMONTON, ALBERTA - AUGUST 29: Quinn Hughes #43 of the Vancouver Canucks takes the shot against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game Three of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on August 29, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
EDMONTON, ALBERTA - AUGUST 29: Quinn Hughes #43 of the Vancouver Canucks takes the shot against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game Three of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on August 29, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Quinn Hughes #43 of the Vancouver Canucks takes the shot  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Quinn Hughes #43 of the Vancouver Canucks takes the shot  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

It’s time for another edition of The Canuck Way mailbag! You sent your Vancouver Canucks related questions on Twitter and I answered!

I can’t believe that it will be September soon. Fall is upon us and summer is drawing to a close. The Vancouver Canucks are also playing playoff games right now. Try telling that to someone a year ago, not a chance anyone would believe it. It’s crazy how time flies. The week flew by and this also means another edition of The Canuck Way mailbag! Site Expert Brayden Ursel is busy moving to a new house so I decided to take the driver seat for the mailbag this week.

Our Twitter followers have given me some good questions to answer. If you want to ask a question for future mailbags, be sure to follow @FsTheCanuckWay on Twitter and we will be sure to answer them.

Anyway, on to the questions! (Also should note, this was written before Game 4.)

The obvious answer is Jacob Markstrom. All season long and into the playoffs, he has been incredible for the Canucks and a huge reason why they are in the position that they are in. If Markstrom continues his strong play, this could be a long series. He needs to continue to come up big and make huge saves. Even when the Canucks aren’t playing well, Markstrom gives them a chance to win.

Other than Markstrom, I would also say the entire top six. They got a boost with Tyler Toffoli returning in Game 2. A theme of the Canucks this season is that when the top six produces, they usually find the tea successful in earning a win. When they dry up, the team crumbles. So, getting Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat, and company on the score sheet is another way the Canucks could make this series against the Golden Knights go the distance.

Jake Virtanen hasn’t lived up to expectations in these playoffs. Honestly, I would take him out and put Zack MacEwen in at this point. Travis Green has been mixing and matching his lines all playoffs, so putting in MacEwen over Virtanen wouldn’t surprise me at this point.

Virtanen has got the tools for playoff hockey, he is just not using them. In the second period of game 3, he should have used his speed to drive to the net instead of waiting for someone to pass to. His strength and speed is a big need for the bottom six to compete in the playoffs. If he isn’t using his tools or making an impact, you might as well put MacEwen in who can provide physicality, strength, speed, and he can also provide offense from time to time.

So it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put the man they call “The Big Fella” in the lineup.

https://twitter.com/Macusian12345/status/1300170069557702657

At the time of this writing (before Game 4), there is a good chance that Tyler Myers makes his return to the lineup according to Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy and TSN 1040’s Rick Dhaliwal. So I would expect Jordie Benn to come out of the lineup in order for him to slot in.

But, to answer your question, Benn would be someone I would personally see come out of the lineup. I’m also not sure if Loui Eriksson should draw in soon unless there is another injury.  In terms of somebody on thin ice, I already mentioned Virtanen above. I would also even suggest Oscar Fantenburg, especially with Myers potentially returning. I am not a fan of the Fantenburg-Myers pairing.